Town takes Pride in festival celebrations

There was plenty of Pride on show as Wigan hosted another spectacular and successful celebration of tolerance and diversity.

People again turned out in force in the town centre at the borough’s second event hailing LGBTQ+ people.

Ian McKellen at the Pride Festival 2017

Ian McKellen at the Pride Festival 2017

The day began with a colourful rainbow parade, headed by acting superstar and Pride special guest Ian McKellen, which made its way from Mesnes Park to Market Place.

The previous evening Ian, whose career on stage and screen includes his roles in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and X-Men film franchises, had held a sold-out audience at The Old Courts rapt with his life story.

He talked about his upbringing in Wigan, becoming an actor and coming out.

Those lucky enough to be in the audience said it was brilliant, hilarious and moving

The Pride march 2017

The Pride march 2017

The activities on Saturday covered the entire town centre, with both Believe Square and Market Place transformed for the day.

The Face of Wigan statue, at the top of The Wiend, was painted in the colours of the rainbow flag and in a national first the entire Pride event was autism-friendly.

The Blades aerobatic display team treated the crowd to a flyover and the Unity Stage hosted top talent, including headliners The Lottery Winners, X Factor star Olivia Garcia, Zoe Unsworth and a top Lady Gaga tribute act as well as dance groups.

The celebration continued long into the night with The Old Courts hosting the official Pride after party and The Wiend bar and Reflex both staging themed evenings.

The Pride Festival 2017

The Pride Festival 2017